I’ve liked this song since the 1980s but this has bothered me almost as long:
All systems are go, are you sure?
Control is not convinced
But the computer has the evidence
No need to abort
The implication is, Control should have aborted the mission based on their gut feeling. But if the computers have the evidence, why is Control not convinced? If Control has other evidence, why isn’t it being considered? If there is no other evidence, then Control wasn’t correct, just lucky.
This fits a larger pet peeve of mine, which is that we remain mired (in terms of arts and literature) in an Age of Heroes mentality. It’s the lone actor struggling against the impersonal unfeeling “system”. But in fact, far more tragedies happen because we ignore the evidence than because we follow it. When gut reactions work out, we celebrate it as heroic and when they fail, we say, “Oh, well, sometimes the odds are stacked against you”.
We live in the most interconnected complex society ever, during the most dangerous century ever. Systems, professionals, and procedures may all, admittedly, be faulty.
But we hold as our paragon the people who work around procedures rather than those who try to fix them. Why? I suspect because it lets us off the hook. If the system is irreparable then we’re justified in not exerting ourselves to repair it. If guts trump process, then we have tacit permission to give free rein to our laziness, our proclivities, and our prejudices.